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Sat Dec 7, 2019, 01:47 PM

Winston Lawson, 91, Secret Service Agent With Kennedy in Dallas, Dies

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/06/us/winston-lawson-dead.html

The advance man for the Texas trip, he rode ahead of Kennedy’s limo, helped lift the president onto a stretcher and then lived a half-century with regrets.


The Secret Service agent Winston Lawson, fifth from left, observing President John F. Kennedy greeting a crowd after arriving at Castle Air Force Base in Merced County, Calif., in 1962. Mr. Lawson was the advance agent for many of Kennedy’s trips, including his last, to Texas.

By Richard Sandomir
Dec. 6, 2019

Winston Lawson had been a Secret Service agent for four years when, on Nov. 22, 1963, he was in an unmarked police car in Dallas just ahead of President John F. Kennedy’s open limousine.

Within an hour or so, Kennedy would be dead, leaving Mr. Lawson to wonder for the next half-century whether he had done everything possible to keep the president safe.

“At times I wish I had never been born,” he said in an interview in 2013 with WTVR, a television station in Richmond, Va., on the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.

Mr. Lawson, who died on Nov. 7 in Norfolk, Va., at 91, had not only been guarding Kennedy in Dallas; he had been the advance agent for the presidential trip to Texas. Known for his attention to detail, he had planned security and travel routes for the trip, as he had for Kennedy in other cities in both the United States and Europe.

Mr. Lawson — who rode in the front passenger seat of the lead car, a light-colored sedan being driven by Jesse Curry, the Dallas police chief — scanned the thickening crowds for potential trouble and kept turning around to check on Kennedy through the rear window, he told the commission.

After the motorcade turned onto Elm Street along Dealey Plaza and passed the Texas School Book Depository, Mr. Lawson heard the first shot from behind. In his testimony he was asked by the commission member John J. McCloy, a banker and diplomat, if he had seen anyone in the windows of the building. (Oswald had shot the president from a sixth-floor window.)

“No, sir,” Mr. Lawson said. “Just as we started around that corner, I asked Chief Curry if it was not true that we were probably five minutes from the Trade Mart.”

When two more shots were fired, Mr. Lawson turned around to see another Secret Service agent standing in the car behind Kennedy’s limo holding an automatic weapon. Had the agent just fired?

A motorcycle officer then pulled up to the lead car, telling Mr. Lawson and Chief Curry that the president had been shot. An order immediately crackled over Mr. Lawson’s two-way radio: Rush to the nearest hospital.

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Reply Winston Lawson, 91, Secret Service Agent With Kennedy in Dallas, Dies (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Dec 7 OP
StarfishSaver Dec 7 #1

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 01:51 PM

1. RIP

I love these guys.

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